Mindless zombies in a brainless story
Resident Evil: Afterlife is hardly a zombie movie.
Zombie movies, in general, are popular because they display the humanity of the characters within. They push characters to their limits and more than any other movie type, show who the character really is.
After Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the series' second installment, Resident Evil movies have strayed more and more away from the games they are based on and the characters they are built on.
The movies are now about super mutants and a pharmaceutical company that is so corrupt that the end of the human race is an acceptable loss in the big picture. The average everyday zombie doesn't even seem to be much of a threat to the story's characters anymore, but instead seems to be used just to fill screen time.
Resident Evil: Afterlife takes place 18 months after the conclusion of Resident Evil: Extinction and features Milla Jovovich (The Fourth Kind) and Ali Larter ("Heroes") reprising their roles as Alice and Claire.
Similar to the start of the series, the cast is somewhat limited. This creates a much more personal post-apocalyptic environment, but thankfully, there are no more buses full of survivors getting wiped out by hordes of zombie crows.
It is easy to identify with the protagonist characters and almost too easy to dislike the obvious antagonist.
Despite some flaws, it is still a fun movie. There are enough superhuman/supermutant fights, 3D bullet dodges, shuriken throws and slow motion backflips to make The Matrix seem realistic.
In comparison to the rest of the series, Resident Evil: Afterlife falls somewhere between Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction. There is a far more tangible end goal than there was in Apocalypse. However, it fails to portray the dire situations that the characters find themselves in.
The problem with Afterlife lies in its storytelling. There are semi-interesting characters that are thrown into more interesting situations throughout the course of the movie, yet no story is really told.
With this being the fourth installment in the series, Resident Evil is starting to feel more like an expensive TV show than a movie franchise. The writers are taking too much advantage of the post-apocalyptic setting.
In each movie, there is yet another group of survivors and another evil villain affected by a new strain of the T-virus. Those hoping for a satisfying conclusion to the story will be sorely disappointed. From the looks of things, the story won't be concluded until the movies stop making money.
Overall, it wasn't a bad movie. It surely won't win any Oscars, but then again, that isn't why the movie was made. It's a good enough continuation of the Resident Evil story to warrant seeing if you're a diehard fan of the series. For those who are just passing fans, the $11 price tag to see it in 3D is probably too high for what you're going to get out of it.